When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond and give you insight from a real CA employee. This profile of Oliver Sims III, Sr. Director, Presales, is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.
In his role at CA, Oliver helps internal and external customers get to the heart of their issues, and then enables a solution. As a leader in the Mainframe Presales organization, he and his team are at the center of sales opportunities that are not only are significant in value and scope, but are onramps for positioning CA as a go-forward partner. Internally, he has worked to nurture an impactful relationship with the Product organization – one that pay dividends for both sides.
Outside of CA, Oliver is an advisor and angel investor for minority startup companies, and serves on several boards including the Sam Walton College of Business Diversity and Inclusion Board, the Walton Colleges Deans Advisory Council, HackMy Future, Joyful Giver and the Community Empowerment Council (CEC) in his hometown of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He is passionate about the mentorship of African American and other employees at CA, and creating a culture of inclusion, diversity and gender parity.
We asked Oliver a few questions on how he helps eliminate barriers, both at work and in the community. Here’s what he had to say.
How do you contribute to eliminating the barriers between ideas and outcomes for CA customers?
I believe most barriers are imagined and can be overcome with intellect and determination. Ideas are the beginning of all things and can come from anyone.
Why is it important that we all “bring what we bring” to contribute different and unique perspectives?
Experiences birth vantage points. The mere fact that every person has a different life story filled with unique experiences is clearly a signal that we’re all different. Those differences are valuable, especially when it comes to solving problems and creating new solutions.
Tell me a bit about how you’re bringing it outside of work with your recent appointment to the advisory board for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Arkansas.
The University was a springboard for my career success, so I feel compelled to give back. Serving on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Board allows me to assist in the design and execution of programs that positively impact the minority student population. A student’s success on campus is key to graduating, which is key to becoming a contributor to our economy and society, so we don’t stop with on campus success. We also help students gain meaningful experiences through mentorships, internships and the acquisition of softer skills that are important to gaining a job – and thriving in it.
What did you learn from this experience that adds to what you do at work every day?
Working with other professionals to solve problems, design initiatives and sell those to the staff sharpen the skills that I deploy daily at CA. Both boards are made up of talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, which provides an amazing opportunity for personal growth.
Why is it important to you that you’re making a difference – both at home and at work?
I feel the U.S. has vibrant and varied economic opportunities, yet still the level of poverty, blight, imprisonment and people who believe they don’t have a fair chance are trending the wrong direction. I’m aware of how fortunate I am, and I want to help others. I read See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar as a freshman at the University of Arkansas, and it greatly affected me. The premise is, if you help people get to where they want to go, you will, in turn, reach your own goals. Doing enriching work—for profit or not—breeds internal satisfaction that is difficult to match.
As part of our “Bring What You Bring – Women in Leadership” blog series, we’re celebrating several of our women in leadership to find out what they bring to the organization.
Meet Kelly Long. She’s the Vice President for Communications, Asia, Pacific & Japan.
What does a Vice President for Communications, APJ do?
Kelly takes a leading role in managing the APJ Communications team and helps promote CA’s brand.
“When you see an article about CA in a business or tech publication (in print or online), or read about a CA solution on a blog by an influencer, or watch a CA spokesperson being interviewed on a news channel or a social platform, or read an analyst’s report that features CA, or attend a town hall, or participate in a CSR program that helps promote STEM or assists young people in underserved communities. That’s all part of what the Communications team does to help build, promote and raise the trust, corporate reputation and awareness of CA.”
Bring What You Bring
At CA, employees are encouraged to work with one another and build on each other’s strengths to create richer results. This ‘Bring What You Bring’ ethos is spread right across the organization and when speaking to Kelly about what she brings to CA, she told us that her main asset is her passion, experience and social awareness as she believes in delivering value to employees and making a positive impact on the business.
“I love what I do. And, I’ve been doing this for a while. I’ve been fortunate to have worked in different industries, across the region, with colleagues and bosses from around the world. The passion, experience and social awareness would be part of I bring.”
CA APJ Media & Analyst Chinese New Year event
One piece of advice for current or future Women Leaders
Kelly believes that in order to lead to the best of our abilities we must be able to see things from both sides of the table; the leader and the follower.
“Lead how you would want to be led.”
My female inspiration
Kelly has many female role models, of which are amongst her family members.
“I can’t name just one. I grew up in a family of strong women. My grandmother ran away from home to further her studies at a time when mainly boys progressed beyond high school. My aunt had her own advertising agency and was a creative director of a few global agencies. My other aunt was a top sales person. My mother is working into her 70s (part-time because she enjoys it and when she’s not at work, she’s holidaying with her girlfriends). I grew up knowing that with hard work and determination, you can achieve your goals in life.”
Women in Leadership qualities
CA Technologies has a core of DNA that align with the company’s mission, to eliminate the barriers between ideas and business outcomes. Kelly has selected the most important DNA trait that she feels will make her a successful woman in leadership at CA Technologies.
“Resilient” – Stay the course – embrace challenges, learn and be better.
“Agile” – This is an ever-changing world – be adaptive and be ahead of the change.
“Collaborative” – Success is a team sport – working together and winning together.
We caught up with Ondrej Tulach who is based at our Prague Technology Center. He joined CA back in July 2011 as a tester to work on security and then was promoted twice. Now he works as a Software Engineer for Mainframe.
The favorite part of Ondrej’s job is to create a well-established test that developers call the “Ondrej’s insane test”. It helps to figure out the problem early in the development cycle and ensures that it gets fixed before delivering it to the customers. In software engineering terms, he loves to see an RC=0 in his TC JCLs.
CA Technologies recently took part a university careers fair and Ondrej was one of the demo presenters. We asked Ondrej how the event went?
“We did a demo for SYSVIEW and ISPFDIT. Sysview has been one of CA’s best products ever, a much more powerful alternative to IBM’s native SDSF. In Windows terms: Sysview is like if you took the Windows Task Manager combined with the Disk Management console, event viewer, performance monitor – and control panel of all your database machines.”
Ondrej loves to work on ACF2, a security product on CA’s mainframe.
”ACF2 is one of just three security/access control software on the Mainframe, the other two being IBM RACF and CA Top Secret. On Mainframe, there is an opposite philosophy than on other systems: if you haven’t explicitly granted privileges, you cannot do anything. This is called ‘No rule, No access’.
There are many inevitable results of the security. For one, it means much higher bar for both design and testing. If failure of your product means collapses of a whole company or government institution, the only acceptable design philosophy is ‘fail-safe’, delivering a robust product as humanely as possible. That is the pinnacle of software testing, and the direct opposite of the ‘safe-fail’ philosophy of reckless improvisation and non-robust design promoted by the whole ‘Agile’ movement. Security is also inherently interesting and a captivating subject, making you work hard to deliver because you know how much is at stake.”
What other products have you enjoyed working on recently at CA?
“I am currently working on Log Analyzer. Log Analyzer is a product for Database Administrators working on the IBM DB2 relational database. It allows auditing, database activity replication to data warehouses, recovery of accidentally dropped database objects and analysis of database activity.”
Ondrej suggests a career in Mainframe for those who are looking for something special or if you’re considering not following the crowd when it comes to a career in tech.
“Mainframe has immense hardware capabilities, far beyond what the x86, x64 or ARM architectures have to offer. One z14 box offers the same HW performance as a whole farm of traditional servers. And finally, there is a constant lack of expertise on Mainframe, so if you join now, you have a competitive edge for your career.”
We asked Ondrej why should someone consider CA Technologies if you’re a software engineer looking to work with Mainframe Technologies.
“I enjoy the work-life balance – you’re not required to do overtimes (even though many people do them voluntarily, wanting to finish the WIP they have opened before they go home) unless you’re having a support service for high-priority customer issues. Also, the flexible working hours are great advantage. Plus, work from home and sick days are available.”
From sales to salsa, learn how Pedro is breaking barriers every day
When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond and give you insight from a real CA employee. This profile of Pedro Bullaudy, Digital Sales Partner Account Manager, is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.
Pedro came to CA 13 years ago with a sales background in the distribution industry, having worked with global firms such as Arrow Electronics and AT&T. He started working tele-leads at CA’s Customer Interaction Center (CIC) in Tampa, FL, before moving to the Channel Sales team and Digital Sales Partner account management.
Recently, the Florida Department of State recognized Pedro with a Florida Heritage Award – presented annually to citizens who have made long-standing contributions to Florida’s cultural heritage, and honor the state’s most influential tradition bearers for excellence, significance and authenticity.
For more 20 years, Pedro has served as a bandleader and the driving force behind the Tampa Bay Area’s salsa scene, delivering original arrangements, fresh energy and the best of Latin music repertoire. He was born in Santiago de Cuba, but fled with his family in the freedom flights from Havana to Miami.
After settling in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Pedro developed an interest in music and began playing trumpet. He came of age as salsa began to coalesce among Puerto Rican and Cuban musicians in New York. He shared the stage with Latin music giants like Eddie Palmieri, Roberto Torres, Jose Fajardo and began performing with the progressive group, Cuba Song, with Edwin Bonilla who is known for his decades-long run with Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine.
Pedro’s group, Orquesta INFINIDAD, has performed twice at the Super Bowl, as well as at the Clearwater Jazz Festival, House of Blues, in a Netflix film and in many local festivals.
We asked Pedro a few questions about his job at CA and his music. Here’s what he had to say.
1. How do you contribute to eliminating the barriers between ideas and outcomes for our customers?
I take the time to work with our Partners and internal teams to understand the different perspectives, possibilities and human factors that are specific to a challenge. Based on that, I translate a vision into an approach, and present it in a way that produces desired actions through individuals and groups.
2. Why is it important that we all “bring what we bring” to contribute different and unique perspectives?
This brings to mind the story of blind men describing different parts of the same elephant. Each based their response on the section that was immediate to them, and each was different. By bringing and discussing different perspectives, we can come to more fully understand the bigger picture and how to more effectively approach solutions.
3. Tell me a bit about how you’re bringing it outside of work with your recent 2018 Florida Folk Heritage award.
I bring a vision of the level of excellence that we are trying to achieve, and understand that it takes work. This, coupled with realistically addressing the details with sincere communication, has helped me to consistently produce harmonious outcomes!
4. How does music help inspire you to do great work at CA?
It is very satisfying and makes me happy – which makes for more positive work all-around. It also teaches that consistency requires discipline for a smooth outcome. Through improvisation, it demonstrates that anyone can make stuff up… but to make it right, it takes work.
5. Why is it important to you that you’re making a difference – both at home and at work? How are the two related?
They are both in their own way “family” and I always look bring my best to both. When I do that every day – I feel alive, happy and ready to face any challenge that comes my way.
For more information on the Heritage Awards ceremony, click here. Watch Pedro’s interview with Lissette Campos on ABC News, here.
Ever wonder what it’s like to be in Communications at CA Technologies?
When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond that and give you insight on these key facts from the perspective of a real CA employee. This Principal Communications profile is part of our careers blog series “A Day In The Life At CA”.
Archana, Principal, Communications, is very passionate about her work and is an avid writer.
Archana’s Career Story
This is Archana’s 3rd role at CA. Archana has made a real impact on the business at the India Technology Center.
“I had joined in the Solution Knowledge team for the ARCserve product team where I used to work on solution briefs, PPTs and help the SWAT team. When that team was dissolved, I joined the sales operations team where I used to help with Excel sheet for product SKUs. When I came to know that there was an opening in the Corporate Communications team, I applied as part of internal mobility and I have been with the Corporate Communications for 6.5 years.”
Interesting fact: This is Archana’s 2nd innings at CA Technologies. She had worked for 9 months earlier and quit and rejoined.
The Life of a Principal Communications
We asked Archana how she would describe her role as a Principal, Communications at CA and why she loves it.
“I take care of internal and external communications. Internal communication is for employees – taking care of internal branding, communicating the strategy to employees, organizing town halls, helping Executives with their presentations, helping out with site-wide event communication, writing articles for the intranet. As part of external communications, I liaise with the PR agency to arrange for media interactions for executives, write press releases, help with social media postings, write/edit articles, PPTs. I also help with CSR activities planning and CSR budgeting.”
A typical workday for Archana starts with replying to her e-mails and then organizing the top priority tasks for the day, before fetching the first mandatory cup of tea.
When we asked Archana about her favourite part of the job, she told us how she loves to interact with executives, some of whom put in their time and effort in guiding her and giving valuable tips and they feel happy when she succeeds.
“I also love researching, writing and editing articles. Sometimes juniors come to me to ask how to write an article or seek advice and I am always happy to guide them. One of the juniors came to me a few weeks ago to say that his mom asked him to say, “thank you” to me for something I helped him with. In my six years in this role, this was the biggest compliment I thought I got.”
Life At CA
Archana is certainly a fan of the office and the area of the business park. She likes the very neat individual working areas in the office and the clean and green campus.
“Best part of my workspace is the money plant (Scientific name: Epipremnum aureum) that I have on my desk. I feel happy to see the plant growing and when people come to my desk, they say wow such a big money plant, you must be rich :)”
Archana is extremely happy with the benefits that CA offers to its employees. In particular, she is a fan of the benefits that are offered to meet the work-life balance of the employees, which is one reason she loves her #LifeAtCA.
“Overall, I think CA offers great benefits, especially the comprehensive “Health and Wellness” program. One of the benefits that CA offers is the work from home option. Three years ago, when my dad passed away and my mother needed support, thanks to my Manager, I could get additional work from home option to help support my mother. I am truly grateful for this.”
Archana’s Career Advice
Archana would recommend a Principal, Communications position at CA Technologies to anyone who wants to be part of a large global software company with great career opportunities and company culture.
At CA, I have learnt a lot. Especially, in my current role, I can never complain of a dull moment. And there are multiple opportunities as part of internal mobility at CA, to shift and learn and network.”
We couldn’t have said it better. Thanks to Archana for sharing her Day in the #LifeAtCA of a Principal, Communications! You can follow her on LinkedIn here
Are you interested in a Communications role at CA Technologies?
Ever wonder what it’s like to be a Software Engineer at CA Technologies?
When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond that and give you insight on these key facts from the perspective of a real CA employee. This Software Engineer profile is part of our careers blog series “A Day In The Life At CA”.
Ivan Satsiuk, Software Engineer, is a lover of cycling. Ivan cycles to work and back home most days.
Ivan’s Career Story
Ivan originally started working as an Associate Software Engineer back in May 2016 before getting promoted to Software Engineer in July 2017. He was working on CA Easytrieve and then moved to Blockchain technology.
“I started as an Associate SE, working on a product called CA Easytrieve. It is a great product with massive revenue, but I wanted to get more development experience rather than maintenance, and the business helped support my move to another team. At the same time, I had discovered a Blockchain technology and figured out that it has great potential in the world and for CA Technologies. Long story short, I’m currently a Software Engineer working as a part of a Blockchain team here in Prague.”
The Life of a Software Engineer
We asked Ivan how he would describe his role as a Software Engineer and why he loves it.
“I am a Programmer who’s working with Blockchain. I have also been part of the Itertest/Symdump team, and that was a great experience for me as well. With this team I’m currently part of, I have dived into Agile principles and witnessed them being applied. The best part of each team that I have been working with is the great level of professionalism of every engineer, manager, scrum-master I’ve had the pleasure of working with.”
A typical workday for Ivan starts by checking his emails and setting up priority tasks for the day and set a plan rest of the week. Ivan is keen to keep up to date with technological trends and information.
“Since our team was born only a few months ago – we are quite busy. We constantly discuss the potential of Blockchain use-cases, searching for new ones, and talking to our customers. I also spend a lot of time wrapping my head around the tech behind Blockchain frameworks, which is relatively complex and is being improved every single day. We also plan educational sessions for our colleagues.”
When we asked Ivan what is the favorite part of his job, he told us how he loves programming and getting the results without any errors.
“Every programmer knows this feeling when you are discovering a new way for your program to perform exactly the way you have designed, while passing all the functionality tests. So, this is my favorite part.”
Life At CA
Ivan is certainly a fan of the office and the area of the business park in Chodov. He loves the office location as it is close to the Metro station and shopping centre. One of his gym’s is located there, and he has everything he needs within a short distance of few hundred meters from work.
“A few months ago, we moved to a new building. It is hard to describe it in short, one just has to see it, it’s fantastic. One thing I can say – the office certainly has a personality. The location of the office is still the same, and we have access to all one could think of in a matter of minutes. Also, the shopping centre here in Chodov has finished its reconstruction and now has one of the best cinemas in the city just 5 minutes away from the office.”
As you can tell from Ivan’s introduction, he’s a lover of cycling. We’re extremely happy the benefits we offer to our Prague employees meet those sporty needs and it is a vital part of why Ivan loves his #LifeAtCA.
“I am using the Sport Card – a card that allows employees to visit one of the sport facilities of his/her choice. The best part about it is that card doesn’t just provide access to a few gyms in the city, it has a massive network of places around the country. It provides access to gyms, swimming pools to trampolines and even some marital art clubs.”
Ivan’s Career Advice
Ivan would recommend a Software Engineering position at CA Technologies to anyone who wants to be a part of great culture and wants to stay ahead in technology.
“I’d recommend them to compare reviews of employees of each company and see where they can fulfill their potential the most.”
We couldn’t have said it better. Thanks to Ivan for sharing his Day in the #LifeAtCA of a Software Engineer! You can follow him on LinkedIn here.
Are you interested in a Software Engineering role at CA Technologies?
When searching for a job or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond and give you insight from a real CA employee. This profile of one of our Customer Experience Managers is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.
Meet Kris MacKay. Kris brings a unique technical sensibility to his role as a Customer Experience Manager that’s critical to his ability to not only solve customers’ problems, but truly understand what they’re going through. “I have BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering, plus several years of experience in software engineering, including development and QA,” Kris explains. “This makes me sympathetic to the needs of our customers since I’ve been on the other side of the table, trying to get an application to work or to fit my particular situation.”
In addition to his technical know-how, Kris also knows how to deal with people. He has been part of the CA Customer Success Team for two years, with more than ten years of customer facing roles prior to that helping people, in his words, “use hardware and software through training and customer support.”
For Kris, customer success isn’t just about fighting fires. “I like to help people solve problems, but also really enjoy when I can help someone discover something new,” Kris says.
Kris also loves seeing that learning and application process in action. When asked about a recent success story, Kris shared how one customer used CA to better serve their own customers. “It’s exciting to see how they’ve put the pieces of our API Management and Service Management solutions together to increase their development throughput and work with THEIR customers to better serve them,” he described.
To facilitate successes like these, Kris focuses on making sure that the right people are in the right place at the right time. “If someone has a pressing issue, that means ensuring Support has what they need and gathering information to assist,” Kris elaborates. “At other times, it’s viewing pieces of a customer’s work to introduce them to a product feature that they haven’t had time to explore or is new and could really benefit them.”
Kris believes that great support comes from a simple commitment: “It’s key to keep communication lines open.” He puts this in practice by practicing active listening. According to Kris, “It’s important to not only hear what’s being said, but to ask questions to find out what else is going on. Information is often uncovered when the client and I discuss the situation together – not when I just respond to a request.”
That same spirit of openness carries into Kris’s life outside of work as well. In his free time, he helps teach kids in grades 3-8 how to program. Kris also enjoys bike riding and dining out at the wide variety of restaurants in the Dallas area.
Insight on what it’s like to work in Digital Presales at CA
When searching for a role or starting your career in the tech industry, you’ll typically find bulleted information on a company’s job description, benefits and culture. We want to go a step beyond and give you insight from a real CA employee. This profile of one of our Digital Presales Consultants is part of our careers blog series “A Day in The Life At CA”.
Ryan is relatively new to CA – he’s been working as a Digital Presales Consultant in the Plano, TX office for around seven months.
What exactly does a Digital Presales Consultant do?
“I help large organizations resolve their day-to-day IT challenges by introducing them to software solutions and industry best practices.”
A typical day for Ryan starts with morning coffee, returning emails and prepping for customer calls.
“Work is actually pretty fun for me. My days consist of customer demos, and surprisingly, learning. Continually learning while on the job is a huge upside for me. I’m always excited to learn more about my area of focus, as it allows me to offer additional insight and value to our customers.”
The best part of the job
Ryan say the best part of the job is interacting with customers.
“I love going onsite and interacting with our clients in their own environment. This personal interaction not only allows me to properly contextualize the needs of our clientele, but it also contributes to a more trusting and productive working relationship with our consumers.”
Ryan enjoys the collaborative layout of the Plano office.
“Having an enclosed yet open work area is awesome. It accommodates for needed privacy should my schedule be demanding, while still allowing me to openly interact and socialize with my coworkers.”
However, he says his favorite part of the office is the people he works with.
“We’re a healthy mix of professional and silly, which makes the office environment equally fun and productive.”
Bring What You Bring
We asked Ryan what he feels is the best CA benefit.
“CA fosters quite a unique and inclusive work environment. Unlike most corporations, CA is incredibly considerate of family dynamics, personal growth or hardship, and all else that comes with being ‘you.’ My manager has been a wonderful representative of all that makes CA a desirable place to call ‘work’.”
Room to grow
We asked Ryan why someone might want to consider working for a B2B technology company like CA over a more well-known brand such as Google or Microsoft.
“Unlike other tech giants, CA continually shows a vested interest in their talent and our personal successes. We have the resources of a global company with a culture that encourages longevity and career progression.”
As part of our “Bring What You Bring – Women in Leadership” blog series, we’re celebrating several of our women in leadership to find out what they bring to the organization.
Meet Nada Buckley. She’s the Director of People Business Partner, ANZ
What does a Director of People Business Partner, ANZ do?
Nada takes a leading role in managing the ANZ People Team, and provides People Business Partner support to the ANZ Sales Business, as well as providing advice and guidance across general people issues.
“I wear an APJ Talent Development hat, in conjunction with my other APJ and Global TD partners, to develop and deliver critical training right across the APJ business.”
Bring What You Bring
At CA, employees are encouraged to work with one another and build on each other’s strengths to create richer results. This ‘Bring What You Bring’ ethos is spread right across the organization and when speaking to Nada about what she brings to CA, she told us that her main asset is her experience and passion, as she believes in delivering value to employees and making a positive impact on the business.
“I have had the good fortune to perform different management roles over the course of my career, including leading the CA APJ HR Team, and having the great opportunity to live and work in Hong Kong for 10 years. The exposure to the diversity of this great region, and to be able to apply that learning to our business issues every day, is both a privilege and a gift.”
One piece of advice for current or future Women Leaders
Nada believes that a woman should be true to herself. She should be authentic and should have a sprit to never give up – even when it gets dark out there.
“Be deliberate about choosing WHO you are – both at work and outside of work – and never allow anyone to make you feel small – because that is a choice that every one of us has within our own control – so don’t give that power away to others.”
My female inspiration
Nada has many female role models, but mentions her biggest inspiration is her Mother.
“My mum – she is the purest, most authentic, as well as strongest person I have ever known. If I can be even half the inspirational person that she is, then I will have achieved something in this life.”
Women in Leadership qualities
CA Technologies has a core of DNA that align with the company’s mission, to eliminate the barriers between ideas and business outcomes. Nada has selected the most important DNA trait that she feels will make her a successful woman in leadership at CA Technologies.
At the helm of ~400 team members from CA Technologies, India is Sakaar Anand. He is a CA Technologies veteran with more than 21 years of experience in Information Technology and Human Resource Development.
Sakaar joined CA in 2008 as a Senior Director, Software Engineering and since then has held various roles at CA. Today, he is the Senior Vice President of Software Engineering & leads an enthusiastic team of software professionals, who help CA customers gain insight into their applications, their networks and their infrastructure.
In this Q&A, we speak with Sakaar about his role at CA, his career journey, his thoughts about an effective leader and what CA looks for, in an ideal engineer.
Tell us about your role at CA Technologies?
My teams own the development of CA Products which become part of an organization’s DevOps toolchain. We also own the internal deployment of the same DevOps toolchain for CA Technologies.
How has your career at CA Technologies evolved since you first joined the company?
I joined CA as a Senior Director, Software Engineering in 2008. I headed Technology and Process Shared Services for CA India for 2 years. Then I became the Vice President of Software Engineering, where my role was to provide expertise to CA product development teams in the domains of usability, accessibility, business intelligence and localization.
After this role, I got an opportunity to head HR for CA India. Though I was never planning to move to HR but when the opportunity came my way, I grabbed it with both hands as I wanted to learn about the other lines of business like Finance, Marketing and Sales, to be able to understand these functions by working closely with these Business Units.
After heading the India Human Resources Team for almost 4 years, I got another opportunity in the US to head the Global People Team for product development of all the products. Simultaneously I started heading Product Operations. I was in this role for almost 2.5 years and it was a dynamic and changing environment for me where I got to work with new people, new processes, experienced new ways of approaching the problem, new challenges of business and in my journey, I continually adapted to the change and learnt that ‘to adapt is to grow’.
During this time, I became the Senior Vice President for Product Operations and Human Resources.
Very recently, I moved back to India as the Senior Vice President for Software Engineering.
I always feel that there are a lot of opportunities for those who can embrace the change to excel. It is imperative to adapt to the changing times by updating our skills and experiences to stay relevant for an exciting future.
In your opinion, what makes for an effective leader?
To me, an effective leadership requires real accountability. Accountability towards your goals, towards your work, towards your colleagues and towards the organization. Because when leaders take personal accountability, they are willing to face the consequences of their decisions and actions in all the circumstances.
That sense of ownership and responsibility also inspires the team and makes things happen. If you are accountable, the company can and will trust you.
How have you fostered a high-performance culture in the team?
I would again stress the importance of accountability here, because by fostering a culture of accountability in the team, you empower the employees to take ownership and when team members constantly demonstrate ownership and accountability, commitment to work increases. This results in high levels of trust amongst the team members and which ultimately drives high-performance culture in the team.
I always encourage all the leaders to drive the culture of accountability in the team and build trust through support and encouragement. Creating a culture of constructive accountability may require a culture change within the team but leaders will find the results well worth the effort.
Having joined CA in 2008 and then becoming SVP of India Agile Operations Team in 2017, what would you say are your top tips for climbing the ladder within an organization?
Three things that have worked for me are:
Never say ‘’No’’ to new challenges and assignments – Don’t get too comfortable in a role. Step out of your comfort zone and push your limits. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to take on more responsibility is a great way to grow personally and professionally. I have always felt that when you step out of a role to embrace something new, that’s when you make real progress.
I have never said ‘’No’’ to any role that the company has offered me. And a ‘’Never Say No’’ attitude towards any new role or a challenging project or assignment has made me reach where I am today.
Put the company first – Getting to the top position requires the simple concept of hard work day after day. As an individual who wants to grow in an organization, you shouldn’t get impatient and put the company first. Leaders should put the interests of their organization above their own. Give back to the company, create more capacity for people around you and it will automatically bring growth to you and to the team and the organization.
I have never asked, what the organization can do for me, I have always asked what can I do for the organization.
Don’t ask for a title, always ask for new roles and responsibilities – A promotion or salary increase is the most sought-after reward in the corporate race. And many people want to just go after a raise or a title. Instead, you should ask for new roles and responsibilities that you are willing to take on. Be proactive and look for opportunities, share your career goals with your leaders and talk about how you see yourself fitting in the new role.
What’s a unique career lesson you can share?
I always keep telling people that in today’s competitive world, those who are willing to take risks, those who are willing to step out of their comfort zone will be the ones achieving the greatest success.
Only when we take the risk & come out of our secure zone, can we take on a new opportunity, build potentiality and accomplish more. As we do, our confidence to take on new challenges increases.
I have never let anything, keep me from stepping beyond the confines of my comfort zone. We must continually introspect whether we are letting our fear of failure keep us from taking the actions that will move us forward and help us take the right decisions.
What is it about CA Technologies role that keeps you motivated and inspired?
I have been at CA for over 9 years now. We work in a unique environment that supports talent, innovation and creativity and the variety of projects, tools and technologies that we work on is truly exciting. My favorite part of my role is getting to work with inspiring people and my team, helping to make a difference.
Besides the amazing team and the exciting work that we do here, I have got tremendous opportunities to work in various roles, a wide array of projects and assignments. I have been lucky enough to get the chance to work in different geographies as well. The constant change and new & exciting opportunities have always kept me on my toes.
It is the opportunities for taking on new responsibilities and challenges that make working for a global company like CA so rewarding. These windows, in turn, bolster spirit and motivation.
We are consistently innovating and helping various organizations develop an agile architecture. The direct relation between the work we put in and the positive impact that comes as a result is so inspiring and empowering.
You’re hiring. What type of people are your looking for? What kind of qualities do you seek when hiring young engineer candidates?
We are a technology-driven company so we are looking for people who have a passion for technology, who keep themselves abreast with the emerging technologies, who have technical depth in their area of study, but at the same time can also expand the breadth of their engineering knowledge, who are inquisitive and fast learners.
In closing, do you have any advice for engineers who want to join the Tech Industry?
Be well rounded and don’t just learn to code. Be curious and study about latest developments in technology, technology trends and industry trends. And if you have a passion for technology, the grit to resolve the problem and the ability to see the bigger picture, then IT field is for you.
In addition, for any project team, agility is integral to the success of the project and it is extremely important for agile teams to be able to communicate their ideas well to the team members and the customers. I want engineers to be aware of this aspect as well.
We couldn’t have said it better. Thanks to Sakaar for sharing his thoughts and advice for young software engineers! You can follow him on LinkedIn here.
Are you interested in a Software Engineering role at CA Technologies?